keywords: Herbal medicine, tertiary institution, survey, northern Nigeria
Herbal medicine still plays a significant role in the 21st century specifically in the areas of prevention and treatment of many illnesses. This practice goes beyond the maintenance of good health of the populace as it also protects people from the menace of an evil spirit, boost mental capacity and other human activities. This study survey’s the perception and use of herbal medicines among students of tertiary institutions in Northern Nigeria. Purposeful structured questionnaire was used for data gathering. Three hundred and six (306) students were randomly selected and interviewed orally during the study. The results revealed (78.40%) students use herbal medicines and (56.90%) students would still use herbal medicines in the future based on their experience. The findings identified some problems associated with the use of herbal medicines such as; poor hygiene practices, no national herbal medicine safety profiles and standardized dosage regimens, imprecise knowledge on the use of herbal medicines among students. Also, (77.10%) students showed fear about the un-hygienic conditions in herbal medicine preparation and storage processes while (49.0%) students indicated concern on the safety of herbal medicines and (19.00%). The views, opinions, and recommendations on herbal medicines utilizations revealed (43.80%) students recommended national intervention program towards educating herbal practitioners on basic hygienic practices, dosage formulations, and regimens, standardization and safety procedures while (17.60%) students suggested herbal medicine should be banned in Nigeria. This study concluded that students among tertiary institutions in Northern Nigeria have previous knowledge about herbal medicine utilization and its practice.